Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Using promoted Tweets to push a news story

The Twitter Media blog looks at how Al-Jazeera--which broadcasts in English in just 3 U.S. cities--used promoted tweets to push its coverage of the Cairo protests up in search results.  A key insight that might affect how you push your next major news story:
According to , head of social media at Al Jazeera English, the team is operating their Promoted Tweets campaign just like a news desk.

As stories pick up steam—for instance, word gets out that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is about to make another statement—the team tweets relevant information and promotes it, making sure it’s ready and waiting if and when “Mubarak” becomes a Trending Topic and Twitter users click his name, looking for more information. (Remember, the the Washington Post did something similar on Election Day 2010.)
Promoted tweets, as the post notes, can be re-tweeted or replied to like any other tweet--but they stay at the top of search results. Twitter cites this experience as creating a new form of TV distribution, minus cable networks. If you're going to try this approach, it's worth reading about the new research on why people do or do not use hashtags, when they dive in and which hashtags work.

I'm curious about how communicators might consider using a moving story and promoted tweets. How often do you plan to have your promotions work "just like a news desk," responsive to breaking situations? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.

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